Abigail Sprague is a fashion designer from the South Shore town of Hanson, MA, interested in bringing fantastical and historical elements into the world of editorial fashion. Her interests go beyond fashion, her education started at Roger Williams University in art and architectural history; she brings architectural components and fine art techniques into the world of fashion through historical garment references, mixed media and surface design. Her focus is to echo elements of the past, both organic and man-made, in her pursuit of wearable art.
This Inspiration for this collection began with Vincent van Gogh, both as a person and the work he created. The process began focusing on color palette and texture, specifically from Starry Night Over the Rhône (1888), Cypresses (1889), and Sunset at Montmajour (1888). The designer mimicked the flow and movement of the paintings through layering of lace, beading, and oil paints, creating a literal reference to the texture of the canvases as well as the organic, overgrown nature presence in the paintings themselves.
In addition to the physical artwork the designer was also drawn to the Van Gogh’s struggle with depression and mental illness. As one who empathizes with such issues, Abigail believes the romanticized archetype of the ‘suffering artist’ can be damaging or possibly dangerous to young artists who may be struggling themselves. Is an artist potentially less successful if they seek help? Must one suffer for their art? The idea of conveying this element of Van Gogh’s life into this collection was challenging. The designer uses the idea of weight throughout the pieces to speak quietly to this internal struggle. The heaviness varies in the amount, type, and placement on each garment, reflecting how individuals are affected by mental illness in unique and personal ways.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, mood board of the fashion collection, with color, texture, and fabric references.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, notebook illustration planning for garment 2, with material and detail references.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, notebook illustration planning for garment 1, with material and detail references.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, garment 1, hand beaded bodice with chiffon pants with overlay, gold fabric neck detail.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, garment 2, hand sewn, dyed, and beading lace bodice with layered tulle skirt.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, garment 3, pleated dress with oil paint, lace, and beaded detail, gathered chiffon sleeves.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, garment 4, iridescent halter dress with oil paint collar and hem details.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, garment 5, bodysuit with layered lace and chiffon pants, bow accent with crystal neckline detail.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, garment 6, cage bodice with oil paint detail and chiffon layered skirt.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, detail of garment 2, close up of lace and beading
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, detail of garment 3, close up of oil paint, lace, and beading.
- Van Gogh Collection, 2020, detail of garment 1, close up of beaded bodice.